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If you are working in a team that is using shared (Dropbox) folders to collaborate, it’s sometimes necessary to point team members to where they can find an individual file or folder. Instead of sending them a link that opens in a browser, I often just want to point them to a particular file they already have in the shared folder on their computer.
So in this post, I will show you a simple method of how to copy the path of any file or folder to the clipboard via Finder. I will also show you how you can use a shell script and a simple filter in Pastebot (App Store) to remove parts of the path before pasting it automatically.
In 2014, I suggested using an Automator service to share the path of a file or folder via Finder. As it turned out, the solution is much easier, and I have to thank Daniel, one of my readers for pointing that out.
As part of my job as a technology executive, I am part of a team that uses Dropbox to share files and folders. But the methods described below work with any folder and with all Cloud providers. For example, if I am working on a new product flyer that I would like a coworker to see, I just have to point them to the correct folder in Dropbox.
We store the raw Adobe InDesign files for our flyers in
- /Users/mk/Dropbox/Xiting/Team Share/Collateral/Flyers/InDesign – DinA4
So if I wanted to tell a team member to check out the latest draft, I would ask them to look for it in our team share, under Collateral –> Flyers –> InDesign – DinA4. That’s a lot of repetitive typing that I would rather avoid.
The OPTION Key to The Rescue
You may already be familiar what role the OPTION key plays in macOS. Among other things, it offers you additional or alternative menu options when you press it. That also includes the context menu in Finder.
To try it out, just open Finder and right-click on any file or folder. What you will get is a context menu that allows you to execute certain functions on the selected item, such as copying it. Pay close attention what happens to the Copy “ITEM” menu entry when you press the OPTION key. It changes to Copy “ITEM” as Pathname.